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The Complete Guide to Conquering the Alex Wang x H&M Launch

Get ready to throw 'bows. Photos by Driely S. for Racked.
Get ready to throw 'bows. Photos by Driely S. for Racked.

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Watch what Racked editors snagged from the hectic pre-shop here! Haul hard or head home!

At last, we're just a few days out from the drop of Alexander Wang x H&M, the expertly-teased collab we've been hearing about since Coachella. The goods, for both men and women, hit select stores and hm.com this Thursday, November 6th. In case it slips your mind, the dedicated microsite has a downloadable calendar alert—but if you're counting on that to remind you, you're probably not going to score anything from this collection. Shopping competition will be fierce.

An anonymous H&M store manager informed Racked they'll be getting 40% less stock than in previous collections. So, not only will shopping this thing mean battling fellow fashion weirdos who line up all night or stalk, then crash hm.com, it also means there will be less to go around. A game plan is so essential, and we've got everything you need to build yours right here.

1. Make a wish list (and check those price tags). ID the pieces you've got to have (first tier), and the ones it'd be nice to pick up (second tier). Prices start at $13 for accessories and climb up to $349 for outerwear—be realistic about what you're willing to spend with an honest edit (do you need all three $35 sports bras, or would you be better served by putting that dough towards a $150 knockout sweater?).

Here are the ten pieces we were the most impressed with (in style and price point) after checking out the collab up close.

2. Going to shop IRL? Pick a store, and plan accordingly. Not all H&M stores will get the collection, so be sure to pick one that does. H&M's site informs that stores stocking the collection will open at 8am the day of, but it wouldn't hurt to give your decided shop a call to confirm that. While on the phone, ask if they have any waiting tips garnered from previous collabs launches: what time have people started waiting in the past? If there are multiple entrances, which one should you wait at? Pick a time to arrive and enlist a few friends to wait with you, for entertainment purposes as well as placeholders for bathroom runs.

Here's how line waiting will go, per H&M: The first 420 people in line will be given a colored bracelet, with a different color for every group of 30. When it's your group's turn to shop, you'll have 15 minutes to do the deed (aren't you glad you made that list?). Once the last group is finished, the collection area will be open to all customers (that should be around 11:30am).

3. Alternatively, risk it online. HM.com says the collab will go live at 10am EST (first things first: time zone math). Last time, the site immediately crashed, then encountered a glitch that made it look like items had been re-stocked, but those orders were cancelled. H&M had just launched e-comm in the States at that point, so let's hope the last year of online biz for us hungry Americans helped them work out a few kinks.

If you're willing to give dicey e-comm a chance, create an account ahead of time and get all of your billing and shipping ducks in a row, so you can simply add to cart and check out before it's all gone.

4. Know the purchase limit rules. You can only buy two items per product this time around, meaning two sizes or pieces. With just 15 minutes in store to shop, you probably won't want to waste time trying on, so think about what sizes you'll want to scoop up ahead of time.

5. And study that return policy. With a receipt, you've got seven days to return for your money back. Without a receipt or after seven days, returns will be issued in the form of store credit at the current selling price.Acce ssories are not returnable, so you better love that whistle ring.

Bon chance!

· Alexander Wang x H&M [Official Site]
· Alexander Wang x H&M: All the Items, Plus Pricing [Racked]
· All Alexander Wang x H&M coverage [Racked]